Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Things You Shouldn't Say

Words are powerful things. I've found, though, that most people forget that. Words mean things - which I'll go into greater depth at a later date, I'm sure - and words have great power. There are things you shouldn't say to a depressed person.

The term "crazy" for example, should be used with care. Also, the term "depressed." It's grating to hear people say, "God, I'm so depressed..." Your boyfriend didn't call you back last night, you got a C on an assignment, your boss is being a jerk, blah blah blah. You're not depressed. You got out of bed today, you're dressed, doing what you need to do, talking to people. You're not depressed, you're sad. Words. Sentence. Meanings.

But aside from words you must use carefully, there are certain phrases you ought to avoid. "I can't believe I supported your decision to leave school" is a big one. It's fine to regret giving support to someone, but for the love of all there is, keep it to yourself or at least don't tell that someone of your regret. Not if you don't want to inflict a great deal of damage.

Another phrase to avoid is, "It seems like you're not even trying to get better," coupled with, "Do you like feeling like this?" I shouldn't have to say this since no one listens anyway, but hear me now: You should not - EVER - accuse someone of enjoying their disease. Do you tell a cancer patient who's turned down treatment because it would cause more harm than good, "Oh, you must like being sick since you're not trying to get better," do you? No. A person who gave such an utterance would be summarily removed from said patient's presence!

But I don't have cancer. I have something far more difficult to comprehend. I take my pills and do the things I'm supposed to: eating well, exercising, getting sun, trying to socialize and not ruminating. But I'm still depressed. That doesn't go away. My symptoms are diminished, sure. But my sometimes crippling - paralyzing - social anxiety? My dark nights? Still there. Not going away. Manageable but not gone...never gone.

There was a time when I could tell people what I wanted to hear from them and they would listen and try to support me that way. Nowadays it's a good day when someone doesn't say something that not only belittles what I'm dealing with but manages not to offend and destroy my self-esteem in the process. Emily Haines (a writer, I believe) said of herself, "It bothers me that no one has the patience to deal with someone who is just sad." Why is it so hard to offer comfort? Face my doubts and give me faith?

So my last thought is this: Use words with care, for they can break people down swifter than they can build them up. Use your words for good, not pain.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Can't. Breathe.

I. Can't. Breathe.

The worst has happened. After everything I did, after making the commitment to myself to stick out the semester, after resolving to do better, to get better... I can't believe it. And I can't breathe. Why is this happening again? This can't be happening. This isn't happening again. There's no option past this.

I... I don't know what to do anymore.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


It's November again. Strangely, I don't feel much different than I did last November: a little hopeless, absolutely exhausted, unmotivated. But there's something stirring in me this time. Last time I had completely given up and surrendered to the inevitability of my exit. I ran away. This time, I'm stuck. I can't leave again - that option is no longer viable unless I never want to return - and I can't keep doing what I'm doing these days. Skipping class is so easy and so sensible sometimes. I can't prepare for class since I don't go, therefore I continue to skip since I'm not prepared and unable to prepare because I don't go. It's a continuous cycle of self-sabotage. I go to work, though; that I never miss. I think working grounds me. Working and going to therapy give me a little bit of structure so I get out of bed every day.

I've been reading a lot of I Wrote This for You in the last couple of days (do you italicize the title of a blog or put it in quotes?), and it's made me think a lot about the person I want to be - aside from a person who's alive, of course. I want my spark back, but wanting it doesn't just make it so. It seems I have to go out into the world and bring it back into myself.

Basically, I'm going to start writing again, more frequently, and I'm going to start dancing again every day. I've really let that go in the last year and I want it back. I'm happier when I'm active and I know it, I just need to do it. And I need to work on school but thinking about it still makes me a little...panicky. So we're gonna move away from talk about school temporarily. I'll deal with it, but... Now's not the time if I want to hold on to the small bit of sanity I have left over from last week's suicidal shit show.

In addition to writing here more frequently, I've also started a little side project (because I need something else to do, right!?) for a certain super-special someone. For those who know, there's this amazing, precious, sunshiney 3 year old in my life who means everything to me. Her birthday was a couple of weeks ago and it got me thinking about who she's gonna be and whether or not I'll be around to see it. I don't mean that in a Big S------ way, but things happen: lightning, car accidents, sickness, gang wars, alien abductions, psycho roommates, freak happenings, etc. So if something happens, I want her to know how important she is. And maybe I can let some other people feel important while I tell her. If you feel like peeking, it's after the jump here at Letters to a Blueberry Girl. It's kind of like the video diary for Good Luck Charlie on Disney Channel, but... on the internet. And from her aunt instead of her big sister. And Kenzie is WAY cuter than Charlie, with tons more personality to boot, so there.

I just need to get through to Thanksgiving. I keep giving myself deadlines and pushing them back to get myself through the semester. You see, at first I just had to get past October 8 (the date of the Big Mistake), and then it was November 1st, and here we are. Frankly if I get through the next two weeks I'll have beaten my record for consecutive school in the last year, which is good, but then I have to get through Thanksgiving. And the nightmares that are coming in about 2 weeks or so. That'll be fun. I'll keep you posted.

But yeah, I guess it's November and we can get ready for Christmas and things. Kr---- and I are getting ready to decorate our apartment. She wants a real Christmas tree - I don't want to have to clean up the damn thing - and I want Christmas candles. We'll have to compromise. But it should be lovely all the same. I'm excited.

Oh. And I'm seeing Katie tomorrow. I'm trying to remember how to breathe without a panic attack jumping in. My hands are shaking. It'll be okay, I'm just... I don't know what to say to her. I don't know if I'll be able to look her in the eye or even be near her without freaking out altogether. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Lastly, this is what's keeping me together right now:

"Place your right hand on your left shoulder blade. Keep it there. Now place your left hand on your right shoulder blade.
And squeeze."

- ~ I Wrote This for You: The Clouds

Just keep squeezing; I'll get to you soon.

“November — with uncanny witchery in its changed trees. With murky red sunsets flaming in smoky crimson behind the westering hills. With dear days when the austere woods were beautiful and gracious in a dignified serenity of folded hands and closed eyes — days full of fine, pale sunshine that sifted through the late, leafless gold of the juniper-trees and glimmered among the grey beeches, lighting up evergreen banks of moss and washing the colonnades of the pines. Days with a high-sprung sky of flawless turquoise. Days when an exquisite melancholy seemed to hang over the landscape and dream about the lake. But days, too, of the wild blackness of great autumn storms, followed by dank, wet, streaming nights when there was witch-laughter in the pines and fitful moans among the mainland trees”

- L.M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No Amount of anything

I really can't deal with this right now. I shouldn't even be blogging about it because I don't even know you for fuck's sake! It's like this girl has a crazy sense of exactly when I don't want or need to deal with things from her. Her message in January, the letter in April, and now this... It's impeccable.

I'm trying so hard not to let this toxic anger seep into everything I've worked so hard to create in the last few months. I stood on the Bluff tonight and wanted to scream - almost did. I did, however, fall to my knees and weep for the first time in a while. About everything. Then I went into my room and put my head in my hands and mentally screamed that I needed to remember how to breathe.

Ice cream isn't helping. In fact, it's making me nauseated. And it's my favorite flavor.

I need a fucking coping mechanism on the rocks.
(For your reference [and I really hate bourbon]: Coping Mechanism on the Rocks)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Write One Leaf: Rain

I think it might rain later. The fog and mist have rolled off the ocean and crept onto campus. The wind bears the promise of a change in the weather and the palm trees sway their testimonial agreement.

Speaking of palm trees, I've noticed something curious about them. They tend to grow best in dry places, but when the wind brushes through their branches, the whisper of it sounds like water. A few weeks ago I was sitting on the Bluff and looked around thinking there was rain coming or a water feature I had yet to discover, only to find it was simply the palm trees being loved by the breeze. It was a magical sound.

I don't love the rain the way I used to. I still love it, though. Maybe it's a sign of maturity? Growing up? Perhaps. I used to love the concept of the sky crying. Now I'm more enamored with the cleansing aspect of rain. The air, the streets - everything is cleaner after the rain.

There's also jumping in puddles, warm pots of tea, reading by the window... Going to the movies or having a movie marathon is a great rainy day pastime. So are good conversations.

Oh, my. I just looked out the windo and the wind has kicked up and one can actually observe the mist being blown about, ushered into every space available on campus. Eery and beautiful.

What do you do when it rains?

"Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby."
~Langston Hughes


Monday, October 17, 2011


I went home this weekend and - of course - my mother asked about the usual people, how they're doing, where their lives are headed, etc. I gave the standard answers, and in some instances (when she asks about people I no longer talk to, for example) just glared at her. In a good-natured way, of course. If that makes sense. Anyway.

On Saturday, I stopped by the house and we were doing laundry and talking about miscellaneous things (I know how to spell that without using spell-check: what now!?), and she turns to me and says,

"So Mark asked about you the other day."
Me: *Mark? Mark... Who the fuck is Mark? Mark, Mark, Mark....* "Who?"
Mom: "You know, the cutie at the bank."
Me: *Oh, GOD, stop! I don't want another relationship! Make it stop! ... He is super cute, though...* "Oh, really? Did he 'lose my number' again or is he just a chicken shit?"
Mom: "No! Well, I think he did actually lose your number and is just too shy to ask for it again -"
Me: "*snort*"
Mom" -- but I was telling him how you're back at school, and he commented on what a pretty campus it is and how he'd like to meet you there sometime for coffee or something."
Me: "What, does he want to transfer so he can ignore me at close range?"
Mom: "No, but I think it's worth a shot. Why not go curl your hair and put makeup on and come to the bank with me this afternoon?"
Me: "No. Because we both know he probably has a girlfriend and just wants a 'back-up plan.'"
Mom: "You might be right; he's way too cute to not have a girlfriend..."
Me: "Thanks, Mom."
Mom: "But he could be a good friend! God knows you're in desperate need of that. He could just be a nice person to get coffee with. He's such a nice boy, give it a try."
Me: "Mom. I don't want a boyfriend or any kind of "boy" "friend". I just want somebody to make-out with!"
Mom: "Well. I can't help you there."
Me; "Of course."

These kinds of moments always strike me. I mean, it's been over a year since R----- and I broke up. Okay, so I technically broke-up with him, but it was all his idea: I didn't have a choice. Since then, though, there've been so, so many moments like the one with my mother you just read. The very first was Brian. Oh, Brian... He basically looked like an angel - sang like one, too - but (as usual) he never called me back. After him was my first encounter with this Mark character by way of my mother's lovable meddling. Then there was Darren who came into the shop ALL the time and then disappeared one day... (I had nothing to do with that, in all honesty. No murderers here.) Then there was Riley at the Governor's Cup, David at my aunt's cottage, and now Mark again.

What I'm trying to say is that in the year or so that I've been in the shell-shocking state of singleness, I've been reminded more and more that I'm not "damaged goods." I'm young, (somewhat) pretty, (used to be) vivacious, (still) passionate, and (completely) driven. Nevermind that I've got one hell of a mental disease and all the social complexes that go with it, but what I mean is that I've still got life in me. It's like that song by The Rocket Summer:
"You've got so much love in you,
you've got so much love in you.
I'm amazed that I'm talking to you -

you look like the songs
that I've heard my whole life
coming true.
You've got so much love in you."
Right!? I've still got all this life and passion inside of me that one person didn't appreciate or deserve toward the end. So I need to start paying attention to the potentials that have... Promise. Like Mark. Maybe next weekend I'll curl my hair, put on my favorite dress and some red lipstick (which was finally returned to me by my aunt by way of my grandmother - thank you, Leslie!!!) and see if he'll live up to his promise. All of these situations birthed the beginning of a song (as yet unfinished) that kind of reminds me of every girl I've ever met.

We all daydream and wonder and fantasize about every guy we meet that has any kind of potential. We all wonder about the promise of what may or may not come next. I guess I should open myself up to it.

"So baby how can't I want want want this?
When we've got so much promise..."

I guess that's all for now. I should probably head to the library and get some work done.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

[insert title]

After being lectured about not writing, here I am at 11 at night, writing. It's important, I know.

This weekend has been frightfully normal. No craziness, no insane adventures, just homework, being at the condo (I guess I live here now?), and seeing R--- and K---. Talking to them keeps me sane, I swear. If I didn't have them... we won't go there. But they keep me sane and normal. As normal as normal gets I suppose.

I've been thinking about him lately. Not in a longing kind of way, but in a pensive, wonder-how-you're-doing way. I'm not interested in another relationship, truly, but I miss having someone. I guess I like having someone to fall apart with. Is that sound? Careful: insanity is catching.

That's all for now, but know that I am writing. It's all in my head, but isn't everything in the world?

But you're in my head, too.

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds, our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” -Friedrich Nietzsche


Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Truth About October

You want the truth about October? October hurts. October is cold, windy, and full of memories. A lot of firsts, and plenty of lasts happen in October.

I'm not making sense. Again. Give me another chance.

I love autumn. I love the chill in the air, the clear days with amazing clouds and the occasional rainstorm. I love the bicycles and the sweaters getting pulled out of drawers and shaken free of cobwebs and memories. I love settling into school and getting back into the familiar rhythm of classes and roommates and "life as we know it."

I don't love the memories. I don't like Octobers because of what happened last October. The Big Mistake which led to the Big S------. I wish I could forget. I wish I could call the Big Mistake a Big Mistake and stop looking back at it fondly. Because it was a mistake and it ruined me. It was stupid, and selfish, and hopeless. But I walked into it anyway, knowing all of that, and I still look at it and know that at the end of the day I probably wouldn't do it any differently. Because I wanted it despite all the reasons around me screaming about what a terrible idea it was.

Slow down a minute.

SO. Octobers. Leaves are dropping - though not as dramatically as they are on the East Coast - and I'm dreaming of scarves and Christmas. It's eons away but I still dream. And I'm fantasizing about a year ago today, when I first heard the M--------- word. And it scared the shit out of me. And I set into motion the events that led me here. I started crying for no reason a bit ago. It wasn't for regret so much as missing how things used to be, when life was something similar to simple. A year ago today. A year.

But tomorrow I drive north, like I do every October. 1st week: Rodeo. 2nd week: roadtrip. It's that time of year I take for myself and run away to people who lovelovelove me and sing and cry in the car and escape the city I love. Then, 48 hours later, I'll return, tired and perhaps hungover, but return I shall. Because unlike last October, this one won't break me. If only because I'm not giving it the chance.

I guess the truth about Octobers is that they're a time of change and settling. Settling into change, I suppose. I've settled into school and work and now I'm working out the balance. I'm doing things I enjoy - hugging, knitting, spending time with the few friends I have left, and bracing myself for the harshness of November. If I make it through those first few weeks, I'll make it through the rest. I have to. No repeats, no do-overs, no backing out. Not this time. So the truth about October is that it's forgiving, and allows some room for stretching out and re-settling. So I'll settle in and get ready for the cold that always comes, but this time I won't freeze. I'll huddle in a blanket but I'll get up every morning and do the things I know I'm supposed to. Because it's a new October for me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A New Year Resolution

When I say "New Year" I mean a new school year. Just so we're clear.

Basically, I have this really awesome Screenwriting professor who has a zillion brilliant adages on writing and what it means to be a writer. He's quite simply a genius. But the crux of what he says is that. as writers, we should feel miserable when we're not writing - true - and guilty the days we don't write - too true - and that we must write every day if we ever want to consider ourselves "writers" - infinite truth.

However, being a college student (again *groan*), I don't always have time to dedicate an hour or so to writing each day. I have other things going on. Sure, if I never got on the internet again and gave up my Solitaire habit I might have that kind of time at my disposal, but at this point... no. But I need to write more. Really. I know, I've said this a zillion times before, but I mean it this time. It's time for me to start taking my craft more seriously like my screenwriting professor insists.

So I leave you with this, and will dedicate the next 20 minutes to starting to write something, anything, to share with you tomorrow at some point.

“A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward; amid its shadows, he builds a new world with words. This man – or this woman – may use a typewriter, profit from the ease of a computer, or write with a pen on paper, as I have done for 30 years. As he writes, he can drink tea or coffee, or smoke cigarettes. From time to time he may rise from his table to look out through the window at the children playing in the street, and, if he is lucky, at trees and a view, or he can gaze out at a black wall. He can write poems, plays, or novels, as I do. All these differences come after the crucial task of sitting down at the table and patiently turning inwards. To write is to turn this inward gaze into words, to study the world into which that person passes when he retires into himself, and to do so with patience, obstinacy, and joy. As I sit at my table, for days, months, years, slowly adding new words to the empty page, I feel as if I am creating a new world, as if I am bringing into being that other person inside me, in the same way someone might build a bridge or a dome, stone by stone. The stones we writers use are words. As we hold them in our hands, sensing the ways in which each of them is connected to the others, looking at them sometimes from afar, sometimes almost caressing them with our fingers and the tips of our pens, weighing them, moving them around, year in and year out, patiently and hopefully, we create new worlds.”
- Orhan Pamuk in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature (December 2006)


Old Friends: Bookends

Just so you know, I shall be posting some updates on school and life and such things later this evening if I have time. If not, I'll do it tomorrow. Folks have been asking when I'll update them on things schoolside and I don't want to leave anybody desperately hanging.

Also, I will be gradually cross-posting to Tumblr, so if you have one, stay tuned in for details as time goes on.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Some Quieter Thoughts

Sorry, folks, I have no exciting news on the creation of my own universe to share today. Just some introspection.

I've been (unfortunately) thinking about my Ex a lot today. This is due - in part - to my recently acquired Andy Grammer CD. Every song Andy sings is an anthem to my soul. Sappy? Yes. True? Undeniably. Strangely, my thoughts on the Ex aren't super negative.

I miss him, yes. But... I woke up this morning and I didn't hate him. I just feel... a little sad, and a little disappointed that things didn't work out, but... I'm at peace with it. Finally. I don't know if I'm quite ready to start seeing him socially again (I mean, really, do we even deserve that?), but I feel like I could bump into him somewhere and instead of wanting to cry, I could smile, give him a hug and honestly ask how he's doing and be genuinely interested for a few moments. It doesn't hurt so much to think about how we used to be. It still stings a little, but it's like a bruise that's healing instead of broken ribs and dislocated limbs. I'm calmer now. I can look at the situation with clear eyes and see how in many ways what happened was inevitable. Not necessarily smart, but it happened and I can't change it; I can only keep heading the direction I've set myself in.

I'm ready to go back to school, as well, because I have a plan. I'm going in with every defense available and I'm not anything stop me this time. Nothing.

So I'll leave you with part of the reason I've moved on from the entire "Ex" situation; part of the reason I'm almost completely over him:

The love we shared was real, the secrets we revealed
I hope I was a stepping stone
But now you are more yourself than when you met me
And I can say the same – I’m more myself, than when I met you….

And oh, I just want you to know
this is not a waste of time
there’s so much more below the service
we all search to find the ones who help us grow
and you have done that much for me
and I hope I’ve been a stepping stone

Looking back at what was done
I’m sure I hurt you some
and sure you threw a few low blows
but when the bruises heal, I’ll take down my shield
and thank god above I know you
cuz you are more yourself than when you met me,
and I can say the same – I’m more myself than when I met you

so, please, I ask you don’t
toss the work we’ve done aside
because we’re letting go
this is just a piece of life, focus on the whole
we have come so far…

Well I hope you use my back,
step across the pond and I hope by pushing off me you will come upon
the one who’s surely out there to whom you belong

I needed, I needed to meet you
I needed, I needed to meet your soul
And I hope
I’ve been a stepping stone.
~Andy Grammer, "Stepping Stone"

So there you have it.